Here’s how to save money on flights using Google’s new Flight Insights

Here’s how to save money on flights using Google’s new Flight Insights

In a bid to lock horns with the booming online travel portals, Google has updated its search functionality with the addition of new feature ‘Flight Insights’ under its Google Flights search, making it easier for travellers to choose flights as well as hotels.

Flight Insights- The Google Flights search now features a new tab which lets users see recommendations and tips about how they can make their air travel cost-effective.

How to use Google’s Flight Insights

When users search for flights on Google and select Flights, they’ll see a Flight Insights tab. Upon choosing that tab, users can see how their fare rates will change if they opt to fly on a different day, from any other airport and the best time to book the tickets during the day.

Google’s Flights service has reduced traffic on websites such as Expedia, or the more widely used Ibibo, MakeMyTrip and Cleartrip.

The feature allows a user to search for available flights, see fares and book their choice through Google Flights tab built into the search.

The Google Flights Insights feature will also show fares in a calendar format so that choosing the fare is easier.

“Tap on ‘Dates’ to see the calendar view of date combinations with the cheapest prices highlighted in green and the most expensive in red,” says Google in a blog post explaining the process to the users.

Like travel sites, the Flights Insights service lets users choose the number of passengers, a seat class, and more options.

The Flights Insights sources its data from the flight information Google has compiled to give users idea of the exact date and time to get the best deal on a flight.

The exact savings amount will vary depending on the trip users have outlined.

As per a report in The Verge, Flight Insights is rolling out to mobile Google Search users now. The feature will be available to computer users later this year.

Not Just for Flights

If your travel also includes a stay, Flight Insights will also show you the prices of hotels and inns on a weekly or monthly basis, and will let you know the cheapest day to check in. Also, once you land, it will show you the hotel prices on a map and choose which one to stay in.

hotel prices google maps

“When you’re trying to choose a hotel, you can now see hotel prices on a map to quickly identify the best areas and hotels for both your budget and itinerary needs. You may find that a hotel just around the corner from a museum you’re interested in is available at a great price,” Google said in its blog post.

[“Source-moneycontrol”]

Google Sheets Can Now Make Charts on Request Using Machine Learning

Google Sheets Can Now Make Charts on Request Using Machine Learning

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The updates are already available on Android and iOS
  • Explore feature was added to the app last year
  • Update adds support for spreadsheet shortcuts to the Web version

Google Sheets is already a useful productivity tool but the search giant has now updated it to add some more machine learning features. While users could already ask questions from Sheets to get data-related responses using Explore feature, machine learning now allows the app to create charts demanded by the users.

With the latest update, if users cannot see a chart that they need for their project or presentation, they can simply ask the app to create it for them. “Instead of manually building charts, ask Explore to do it by typing in ‘histogram of 2017 customer ratings’ or ‘bar chart for ice cream sales’. Less time spent building charts means more time acting on new insights,” the search giant said in its blog post.

google sheet story2 Google Sheets Story 2

Notably, users could already ask Google Sheets queries like “what is the distribution of products sold?” or “what are average sales on Sundays?” to get responses from the Explore feature, which was added last year.

Further, the giant has made it easier to keep your tables updated as users can now copy and paste data from Sheets to Docs or Slides and tap the “update” button to sync their data.

Apart from these updates, Google has also added the support for spreadsheet shortcuts to the web version of the app. The latest update is already available on both Android and iOS and can be downloaded through Google Play store or the App Store respectively.

[“Source-ndtv”]

Using creative capacities is like meditation: George Kembel

George Kembel says his current mission is to raise a global fund to unleash the creative potential of every human being on the planet.  Photo: Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint

Mumbai: An internet entrepreneur and investor-turned-educator, George Kembel co-founded the d.school at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California in the early 2000s. The school’s start-up design programme has had a remarkably global impact in terms of its intellectual, pedagogical and tangible reach. While most design programmes admit students with an art or design background, the Stanford d.school’s gospel is more secular. Its courses are offered to students from any of Stanford’s graduate schools, including those of management, medicine and education, as well as to executive education students.

Kembel’s current mission is to look beyond the Stanford campus. With Silicon Valley-style evangelism, he aspires to put together “a global fund to unlock creativity, to fundamentally transform how we educate our children, how we lead our organizations, and how we tackle some of the most significant challenges of our time”.

Speaking on the sidelines of the SingularityU India Summit, a conference on exponential technologies held in Mumbai recently, in association with ideas-and-conversation platform INK, Kembel shared his views on why design thinking promises a brighter future for all of us. Edited excerpts from an interview:

What is design thinking to you?

It is an invitation to a broader group of people to tap into their creativity, not just the people who thought they were creative. Somehow, I think, culturally, we’ve over-associated creativity with the arts. That’s a huge and important part of creativity. But for us everything is a creative act. Hiring is a creative act, designing a business model is a creative act, designing better ways for farmers to irrigate their land is a creative act, as is figuring out a fourth-grade curriculum, or a hospital space. Every one of those things has constraints, has humans involved, has technical issues, has business issues, and if you are trying to make things better, or create new value, you have to find unexpected ways for it.

[Source”cnbc”]

Paytm to Charge 2 Percent Fee on Adding Money to Wallet Using Credit Cards

Paytm to Charge 2 Percent Fee on Adding Money to Wallet Using Credit Cards

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Paytm found that some credit card users were abusing that 0-fee transfers
  • To combat this, Paytm is charging all CC deposits a 2% transfer fee
  • It is refunding this money in the form of a coupon you can use on Paytm

On Wednesday, wallet company Paytm announced that it will be charging a 2 percent deposit fee from credit card users going forward. According to Paytm, this was being done to combat misuse of its zero-fee transfers, explaining that savvy users were rotating their cash through the wallet to earn essentially “free” money in the form of reward points. Paytm said that to ensure that genuine users don’t lose money, it will return the 2 percent charge in the form of coupons that can be used on Paytm.

Later, its founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma clarified that the coupons can also be used on third-party sites to pay Swiggy or Uber, although this mechanism has not been activated yet.

As noted in the post announcing this decision, since November, Paytm has been allowing users to take cash out of the wallet to their bank accounts at no charge. Typically, cashing out has attracted a fee from wallets. At the same time, Paytm and other wallets haven’t charged fees for depositing cash into their systems. This meant that credit card users could fill up their Paytm wallets using the card, then transfer that money back to their bank accounts, at no charge. “They were not only getting free loyalty points which effectively is free cash but also getting access to free credit,” Paytm noted.

This would be subsidised by Paytm’s own costs, as the company pointed out.

Incidentally, Paytm pays fee to card networks or banks whenever you use any payment instrument like any other online commerce company. Paytm pays a hefty charges when you use your credit card to card networks and issuing banks. If user simply adds money and takes to bank, we lose money. Our revenue model requires users to spend money within our network and we make money from the margins available to us on various products/services we offer.

For this reason, Paytm is now charging a 2 percent deposit fee from credit card users, and refunding them the same in the form of a coupon that can be used on the Paytm app. As we mentioned, on Twitter, Sharma has clarified that the coupons can work on third-party sites as well, and added that you will be able to use these with apps such as Swiggy, Uber, although the FAQ on the page currently still states that it can only be used on the Paytm app.

There are a couple of other caveats listed on the FAQ page. For one, these refund coupons will only be given when the amount you’re filling up is more than Rs. 250. If your transaction is lower than that, you will not get a coupon. Also, you will get a fresh coupon every time you top-up Paytm using a credit card, these coupons can not be clubbed, and have to be applied manually and individually. Also, these coupons can only be used in a single transaction. Also, the coupon isn’t applied as a discount on the transaction – it gives you an instant cashback to your Paytm wallet.

The coupons can also be used for bill payments, recharges, and so on, these are not limited to shopping on Paytm Mall. The vouchers will expire on December 31, 2017, but the FAQ mentions that this can be extended on request.

These charges are only being applied on credit card users, so if you’re using a debit card, net banking, or UPI/ IMPS payments, then you are not affected by this move.

Disclosure: Paytm’s parent company One97 is an investor in Gadgets 360.

Tags: Paytm, paytm wallet, cashbacks, Transaction fees, Credit cards, Loyalty points
[“Source-Gadgets”]